Saturday, December 15, 2018
First starter Bob Square Pants kicked off last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway in blistering fashion for Tarpeena owner-trainer Dita Mitchell.
Leading all the way from box six in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 metres), Bob Square Pants became only the third short-course maiden winner at Tara Raceway to break 23 seconds when running out a 10¼ length winner over Serendipity Star in 22.96 seconds.
He is now the second-fastest maiden 400 metre winner at the track, the Tracie Price trained Wise Stella running 22.89 seconds in July after Faster Bolt had run the previous fastest time of 22.98 seconds in October last year.
Making last week’s effort even more remarkable was the fact that Bob Square Pants had only ever trialled solo over 277 metres prior to his first start, Mitchell saying that at one stage she was of the opinion that the sizeable 36 kilogram black dog would never race.
“He was off the scene due to injury for something like six months,” she said. “I really didn’t think he would race because he was a real mess so it was a terrific thrill to see him finally hit the track at three years of age.”
Bob Square Pants is by Banjo Boy out of four-race Victorian provincial winner Jeanie’s Wish, a daughter of Go Wild Jack x Groupie that was picked up as a five-month-old pup for $100 by Mitchell.
Go Wild Jack, a winner of 23 races and close to $90,000 in stakemoney, was owned by Kevin Ward, of Mount Moriac, who landed a double at Tara Raceway last Wednesday with Deflection and Sandy Lagoon. Groupie, on the other hand, retired a maiden after 39 starts.
Mitchell, who relocated from Victoria to Tarpeena two years ago, has done well with the litter in the six months that she has been training – Bob Square Pants the last of her four to win at Tara Raceway this year, following on from Jeanie’s Gem, One Mad Wish and Red Hat Ruby.
Meanwhile, Standing Bear, at start number 130, won his first race in 16 months when successful in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) for Donna Beasley of Mount Cottrell who trains the brindle dog in partnership with Paul Cusack.
Having his first start at the track, Standing Bear overcame a slow start from box five to finish strongly in the run to the line, defeating Serendipity Man and Alouette Jack by the narrowest of margins in 23.34 seconds.
A winner of a total of six races, the son of Cosmic Chief and nine-race Victorian provincial winner Mandy Shiraz has now won twice since relocating to Mount Cottrell.
But despite being kept busy on the track, Standing Bear also contested 11 coursing stakes this year, a winner and runner-up at Lang Lang and also a winner at Longwood.